Such a frustrating situation for all of us. I’m really glad Barry Ritholtz keeps banging this drum. I think he is one of the biggest blogs out there to post some new (or even same old) indictment of the whole shady business on a regular, ongoing basis. This particular story is new to me, and it is probably the worst of all, because it cannot be undone.
The original title is incorrect, of course, because the whole point of crony capitalism is to make the actions of the corporation perfectly legal, and no one can or will ever be held criminally responsible. Another example of how crony capitalism is not to be confused with capitalism. In my mind, capitalism is a system that allows all parties to compete from an equal legal basis, including, in this case, the consumer (or citizen) and any whistleblowers. Crony capitalism is a system that allows parties to purchase legal advantages which crowd out competition and cause harm to not only competitors, but potentially to other industries, individuals, consumers, and the world at large.
by Washingtons Blog – November 18th, 2013, 1:30am
Japan Is Being Destroyed By Criminal Corporate Cronyism (Like the Rest of the World)
Tepco’s criminal actions have worsened the Fukushima disaster:
- Engineers warned Tepco and the Japanese government many years before the accident that the reactors were seismically unsafe … and that an earthquake could wipe them out. For example, the team of engineers sent in to inspect found that most of these components could “completely and utterly fail” during an earthquake. But Tepco covered this up (the Fukushima reactors were fatally damaged before the tsunami hit … the earthquake took them out even before the tidal wave hit)
- Tepco also tore down the natural seawall which would have pretended the tsunami, based upon false projections of the risk from a tidal wave
- Tepco admitted to repeatedly falsifying safety tests. Tepco covered up cracked reactor core containment vessel and other serious problems for decades
- An official Japanese government investigation concluded that the Fukushima accident was a “man-made” disaster, caused by “collusion” between government and Tepco and bad reactor design
- Tepco knew right after the 2011 accident that 3 nuclear reactors had lost containment, that the nuclear fuel had “gone missing”, and that there was in fact no real containment at all. Tepco has desperately been trying to cover this up for 2 and a half years … instead pretending that the reactors were in “cold shutdown”
- Tepco just admitted that it’s known for 2 years that massive amounts of radioactive water are leaking into the groundwater and Pacific Ocean
- Tepco – with no financial incentive to actually fix things – has only been pretending to clean it up. And see this
- Tepco has been directly hiring Yakuza gang members from criminal shell companies as a regular, ongoing practice
- Tepco’s recent attempts to solidify the ground under the reactors using chemicals has backfired horribly. And NBC News notes: “[Tepco] is considering freezing the ground around the plant. Essentially building a mile-long ice wall underground, something that’s never been tried before to keep the water out. One scientist I spoke to dismissed this idea as grasping at straws, just more evidence that the power company failed to anticipate this problem … and now cannot solve it.”
- Letting Tepco remove the fuel rods is like letting a convicted murderer perform delicate brain surgery on a VIP.
- Top scientists and government officials say that Tepco should be removed from all efforts to stabilize Fukushima, and that an international team of the smartest engineers and scientists should handle this difficult “surgery”.
And yet Tepco is still in charge of Fukushima … and is making record profits.
And Japan will likely pass a new anti-whistleblowing law in an attempt to silence criticism of Tepco and the government:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is planning a state secrets act that critics say could curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues, including tensions with China and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The new law would dramatically expand the definition of official secrets and journalists convicted under it could be jailed for up to five years.
This is exactly like the financial crisis, the BP oil spill and other major disasters … crony capitalism between corrupt corporations and captured governments is ruining our lives.